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Nathaniel's Nutmeg, or, The true and incredible adventures of the spice trader w
Milton, Giles.
Adult Nonfiction HD9211.N883 I55 1999

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Exotic spices such as nutmeg, mace and cloves were treasured in the kitchens and pharmacopoeias of 16th- and 17th-century Europe. Nutmeg was even believed to be an effective remedy against plague. Small wonder, then, that traders of the time ventured to the ends of the earth to secure it. With high drama and gracefully integrated research, Milton (The Riddle and the Knight) chronicles this "Spice Race," profiling the leading participants and recording the ruthless violence with which this very real trade war was conducted. The maritime powers of Europe sent companies of adventurers to the Spice Islands (now part of Indonesia), each nation intent on establishing a monopoly and reaping the stupefying profits that the spice trade could produce. The book concentrates on the competition between the Dutch and English East India Companies to control the spice trade nearly 400 years ago. In 1616, Nathaniel Courthope led an English expedition to occupy the Spice Island of Run, a few square miles of land thickly forested with nutmeg trees. As Milton explains, Courthope's assertion of English ownership of Run Island was rejected by the Dutch, who besieged the island for four years before ousting the English (and killing Courthope). However, Courthope's apparent failure led to an unexpected benefit for his country when, in 1667, a treaty confirmed Holland's seizure of Run but, in exchange, validated England's seizure of another piece of land on the opposite side of the worldÄthe island of Manhattan. Sprinkled with useful maps and illustrations, Milton's book tells an absorbing story of perilous voyages, greed and political machinations in the Age of Exploration. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

The rocky islet of Run, two miles long and half a mile wide, lies amidst the Banda Islands in the remote Pacific. In the 17th century it was distinguished by the precious nutmeg tree that grew there in wild profusion "so that the whole countrey seemes a contrived orchard." In 1616, the Englishman Nathaniel Courthope took possession of the island for the East India Company, holding it for three years against vastly superior Dutch forces. In 1620, Courthope was ambushed on an expedition to a neighboring island; fatally wounded, he threw himself over the side of his boat. In the 1660s, the English gained possession of Run one last time, but the nutmeg groves were gone, uprooted by the Dutch. In one of history's ironies, England finally ceded ownership of Run to the Dutch in exchange for another Dutch island: Manhattan. Nathaniel's Nutmeg is a pleasant historical trifle, but Milton (The Riddle and the Knight, Allison & Busby, 1998) needs, and lacks, a focal event or figure. Not a necessary purchase.ÄDavid Keymer, California State Univ., Stanislaus (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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